How are you feeling these days? Are you waking up each day excited to face the day and ready to get everything on your to-do list done? Me neither. Some days it’s just hard to get going. And with the changes in our schedules lately due to the shelter-in-place, it’s even harder. Here are a few techniques I’ve been using to make sure I get my daily run/walk/strength training/business goals/other to-do’s done:
I put my workout clothes on as soon as I get up. I used to wait until after breakfast, or after I walked the dog. With the prevalence of sitting around in pj’s all day (have you seen all those Facebook memes about pajamas lately?), it’s important to set your intention by getting dressed for the day. It also helps to make sure you are ready to workout whenever the mood or the opportunity strikes. When my dad was critically ill in the hospital a few years ago, I never knew when I would have time to work out. Every morning, I put on my workout clothes and took my crossfit bag with me when I went to the hospital. I was always ready—just in case there was a lull in the day’s schedule of meeting with doctors, tending to my dad, and helping my mom with errands. One of the nurses even told me she thought I worked out all the time because she always saw me in workout gear! If only!
Have a Schedule
If you can control your day (more likely with the shelter-in-place than it was when my dad was sick), make a schedule. Having a set time when you eat, work, and work out, helps keep you on track to get everything done. I keep a schedule on my Gmail calendar. If something unexpected happens (like a client calls) and I can’t get to something I have intended to do at that time, I move it to another spot on my calendar so I don’t lose track of what I still need to do.
Fight the Feeling to Postpone
Sometimes I have the urge to reschedule something on my calendar even if something unexpected doesn’t happen. Sometimes I just don’t feel like going out for that run or walk. When that happens, I lace up my shoes anyway and give it a try. I tell myself that if I am just not feeling it [after 30 minutes, after half a mile, whatever time period works for you], I can stop. But I give it a try. Sometimes you just need to start to get in the groove. A few weeks ago, I talked about how running and walking is good for your brain and can help raise the levels of endorphins (feel-good hormones) in your body. [read my blog here: https://wimruntheworld.com/2020/03/15/how-running-affects-your-brain/ ] Once you start and the endorphins kick in, you will be much more likely to continue (and be happy that you did).
What If You Just Feel Too Tired?
Sometimes, the first three options just don’t work for me. In that situation, the first question I ask myself is “why am I tired?” Because I’ve done hard workouts every day this week and my muscles are sore? Because I had an exhausting day of work? Or because I am just feeling down?
Having a good training plan, will hopefully prevent the first situation [see my blog on periodization here: https://wimruntheworld.com/2020/03/22/staying-injury-free/]
In the second situation, just getting started often helps. The endorphins are usually just what I need to put the hard day of work behind me and move on both literally and emotionally.
Earlier this week, however, I felt too tired to run and I realized it was most likely the third situation. I realized that I was feeling exhausted as a result of the “weight” the shelter-in-place was putting on my psyche. I just couldn’t get myself to lace up my shoes. So, I decided to take a bubble bath instead (see my Instagram feed for a picture!). After the bath, my psyche and my body both felt better. But I still didn’t feel like going out. However, a few hours later, my energy was back and I headed to the track to do some speed work. After a little self-care, not only was I motivated to get out of the house, I had the energy for a hard workout. And I felt great afterwards.
Be sure to take care of yourself! As my fabulous business coach, Caterina Rando, says “we can’t fill from an empty cup”. When your cup is empty, make sure you take some time to fill it up.
Do you have other tips to help yourself stay motivated? Please share them with me in the comments.